Darkness for pennies
Despite its name, Amber Wood is much more dark and dry than it may seem. I would have called it “Leather Wood”, or even “Leather Oud”: it opens with a really bitter and dark leather accord with smoky woods (birch, vetiver, and something even more nutty-rubbery, like synthetic oud), and almost nothing else except a faint, yet perceivably warm resinous base accord, and a note which reminds me of violet, with a dirty aftertaste of earthy patchouli. A salty (and quite “niche”, if you ask me) hint of ambroxan evokes the “ambergris” smell and “rounds” the blend with a musky-grey touch. On the drydown, vetiver takes a prominent place with leather, labdanum and other woody debris. Basically I would place this somewhere between some mainstream violet-leather-smoky scents (like Jil Sander Man), a couple of vintage dark fougères (like Arrogance pour Homme EdP, mostly for leather and patchouli), and finally, as for Rose Oud by this same brand, a lot of Montale scents – especially their “dark” range (Dark Oud, Black Oud and so on). It’s much, much similar to them in fact, overall syntheticness included. Don’t expect any masterpiece, but it’s fine, actually not bad at all: it’s bitter, dark, smoky, dirty and much “black”, perhaps a tad tacky and clumsily trendy, with surely an overall barely decent quality; but it works. For all lovers of dark leather/oud scents, an extremely cheap and affordable alternative (this cost me 12 euro for 100 ml, worth having just for fun). The same opinion I expressed for Rose Oud applies here too: if it was a niche scent (and believe me, it could totally be) with a niche price, I would have rated it with a 5 on 10, or even less, because for me the price and the market positioning are part of the product, and must be taken into account. While here, you can’t really argue on the price, which is more than honest – and that is enough for me to respect Amber Wood (but anyway, it smells nice too).